6th Annual Shark Tank Competition

The Epilepsy Foundation’s Shark Tank competition seeks to advance innovative ideas in epilepsy and seizure treatment and care. The winners will use their prize to accelerate their innovation to the next phase of development and closer to being accessible to people living with epilepsy.

In total, 24 individuals or teams entered the 2017 Shark Tank competition from across the U.S. and 7 countries across the world. From this pool, six entries were chosen as finalists and three were awarded a $5,000 prize. The finalists presented at the Antiepileptic Drug Trials XIV Conference on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the Turnberry Isle Miami Hotel in Aventura, Florida.

The Shark Tank winners were selected through live voting by conference attendees and a panel of judges (Sharks) representing physicians and scientists, corporate executives, leading industry investors, people with epilepsy, and advocates. The winners will receive international recognition and share awards totaling $200,000 to support the development and commercialization of their idea.

2017 Shark Tank Winners

$75,000 People's Choice Award | 24/7 Portable, ultra-long term EEG recording device

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Jonas Duun-Henriksen PhD
Senior Scientific Researcher at UNEEG medical A/S

  • Discreet monitoring system, called the 24/7 EEG™SubQ, includes implanted electrodes in a person’s head and a receiver. 
  • The device is intended to record EEG activity for up to 30 days outside of a hospital. 


$75,000 Award | The Sound of Seizures: Auto-triggered seizure detection


Maysaa Basha MD
Associate Professor in the department of neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine

  • Developing a smartphone app that identifies seizures by detecting seizure-specific sounds 
  • The first step of the project will be the identification of seizure-specific sounds and generating 2- to 3-minute audio segments.


$50,000 Award | Device for epileptic seizure prediction

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Paula Gomez, PhD, CEO of Epistemic
Hilda A. Cerdeira PhD, Fellow of the American Physical Society

  • Wearable device sends an SOS message in advance of a seizure to an application in the smartphone of the caretaker. 
  • The algorithm to create this seizure-predicting device was created using approximately 1,000 EEGs from people with epilepsy.  


Shark Tank Finalists

EpiFinder – A Clinical Decision Support Tool for Epilepsy Diagnosis

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Ropert Yao PhD, Founder and CEO of EpiFinder, Inc.
Neel Mehta, Chief Strategy Officer, EpiFinder, Inc.

  • App that helps health professionals provide an accurate epilepsy diagnosis by providing an assessment of the current types of epilepsy. 
  • The project is currently beta testing the app’s ability to make differential diagnosis in a lab setting. 


BioEP: Diagnosing epilepsy without observing seizures

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John R. Terry, Professor of Biomedical Modelling at the University of Exeter
and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare

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Wessel Woldman PhD, MRC Skills Development Research Fellow,
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter

  • Prototype decision-support tool helps diagnose epilepsy accurately by analyzing short segments of resting-state EEG data.
  • Neuronostics aims to identify a biomarker for epilepsy that will help this device provide accurate diagnosis.

Neurology Patient Initiative: Patient-Driven Open Innovation


Heidi Grabenstatter PhD,
Senior Research Associate, University of Colorado Boulder

  • A venue for patients, caregivers, and parents to direct neuroscience research and innovation.
  • Patients and caregivers propose ideas for issues that complicate their health, safety, or ability to navigate their daily lives. 
  • Innovators then create solutions through a crowdsourced, incentivized challenge built on these proposals. 

Update from 2016 Shark Tank Winners

Instant EEG to Better Diagnose and Manage Epilepsy

Aswin Gunasekar
Founder & CEO Zeto Inc.


M-KIFAFA Mobile Technology for Epilepsy Awareness

Rosemary Gathara
Program Coordinator for the Kenya Association for the Welfare of People with Epilepsy


2017 Shark Tank Judges

  • Emilio Perucca MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Pharmacology, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Nathan Fountain MD, Professor of Neurology, University of Virginia
  • Mrs. Hetty Weinstein, parent of a person with epilepsy 
  • Ms. Nancy Santilli NP, MSN, FAAN, Consultant and Global Managing Director, Human Care Systems 
  • Mr. Tom Stanton, Executive Director of the Danny Did Foundation
Congratulations to all the Shark Tank winners and finalists!